This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).

Mortality Detail Files, 1968-1991 (ICPSR 7632)

Principal Investigator(s):


This data collection describes every death or fetal death registered per year in the United States from 1968-1991. Information includes the month and day of death for deaths prior to 1989 and the month of death for deaths in 1989 and after, the sex of the deceased, the age of the deceased at the time of death, the deceased's place of residence, place of death, and whether an autopsy was performed. Causes of death are coded using the eighth and ninth revisions of THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF DISEASES.

Series: Mortality Detail Files Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS6:  Mortality, 1968 - Download All Files (1,077.4 MB) large dataset
DS7:  Mortality, 1969 - Download All Files (1,057.4 MB) large dataset
DS8:  Mortality, 1970 - Download All Files (1,033.7 MB) large dataset
DS9:  Mortality, 1971 - Download All Files (1,037.1 MB) large dataset
DS10:  Mortality, 1972 - Download All Files (527.5 MB) large dataset
DS11:  Mortality, 1973 - Download All Files (1,056.5 MB) large dataset
DS12:  Mortality, 1974 - Download All Files (1,035.6 MB) large dataset
DS13:  Mortality, 1975 - Download All Files (1,013.3 MB) large dataset
DS14:  Mortality, 1976 - Download All Files (1,022.1 MB) large dataset
DS15:  Mortality, 1977 - Download All Files (1,076.4 MB) large dataset
DS16:  Mortality, 1978 - Download All Files (1,044.4 MB) large dataset
DS17:  Mortality, 1979 - Download All Files (1,095.2 MB) large dataset
DS18:  Mortality, 1980 - Download All Files (1,154.4 MB) large dataset
DS19:  Mortality, 1981 - Download All Files (1,540.6 MB) large dataset
DS20:  Mortality, 1982 - Download All Files (1,629.1 MB) large dataset
DS21:  Mortality, 1983 - Download All Files (1,661.8 MB) large dataset
DS22:  Mortality, 1984 - Download All Files (1,730.6 MB) large dataset
DS23:  Mortality, 1985 - Download All Files (1,910.6 MB) large dataset
DS24:  Mortality, 1986 - Download All Files (1,992.4 MB) large dataset
DS25:  Mortality, 1987 - Download All Files (2,015.1 MB) large dataset
DS26:  Mortality, 1988 - Download All Files (2,038 MB) large dataset
DS27:  Mortality, 1989 - Download All Files (2,177.4 MB) large dataset
DS28:  Mortality, 1990 - Download All Files (2,181.1 MB) large dataset
DS29:  Mortality, 1991 - Download All Files (2,217.9 MB) large dataset

Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Mortality Detail Files, 1968-1991. ICPSR07632-v4. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-08-10.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   age, causes of death, death, death records, ethnicity, fatalities, gender, marital status, mortality rates, race

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1968--1991

Date of Collection:  

  • 1968--1991

Universe:   All deaths in the United States.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

There are no Parts 1-5 for this collection.

The Reason-for-Death codes for 1968-1978 are different from those in subsequent years. A revised United States Standard Certificate of Death was recommended for state use beginning on January 1, 1989. Among the changes were the addition of a new item on educational attainment and changes to improve the medical certification of cause of death. In addition, for the first time, the United States Standard Certificate of Death includes a question on the Hispanic origin of the decedent.

Starting with the 1989 vital event files, a new policy on the release of vital statistics unit record data files was implemented to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of the identities of individuals and institutions. As a result, the 1989 and later year files do not contain the actual day of the death or date of birth of the decedent.

The geographic detail is also restricted.

The previous title for this collection was MORTALITY DETAIL FILES, 1968-1978 [VOLUME I], 1979-1980 [VOLUME II], 1981-1982 [VOLUME III], 1983-1984 [VOLUME IV], 1985 [VOLUME V], 1986-1987 [VOLUME VI], 1988 [VOLUME VII], and 1989 [VOLUME VIII].


Data Source:

Death certificates filed in vital statistics offices of each state and the District of Columbia.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: In preparing the data tape(s) for this collection, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has removed direct identifiers and characteristics that might lead to identification of data subjects. As an additional precaution, NCHS requires, under section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m), that data collected by NCHS not be used for any purpose other than statistical analysis and reporting. NCHS further requires that analysts not use the data to learn the identity of any persons or establishments and that the director of NCHS be notified if any identities are inadvertently discovered. ICPSR member institutions and other users ordering data from ICPSR are expected to adhere to these restrictions.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2010-08-10 The dataset order has been updated so that the datasets are listed in chronological order, and additional documentation has been made available.
  • 2007-03-09 Datasets 27, 28, 29 have been updated.
  • 2007-01-16 The setup files have been updated.

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